Grand National Horse Racing Business news Big Winners By Graham Sharpe

A RUM DO…..43 YEARS LATE, BUT GRAND NATIONAL BET IS FINALLY A WINNER

JOE ROBERTSON fancied the previous year's winner, Red Rum, to double up by winning the 1974 Grand National, so he popped down to his local William Hill betting shop and placed a £1 bet on the legendary horse at odds of 11/1 - then promptly forgot all about it.

Now, FORTY THREE years later, William Hill have paid out on the bet - after Joe's son-in-law, Bob Holmes, came across the unclaimed betting slip in his late father-in-law's papers and contacted the bookie to find out whether the slip was genuine - and whether he could still collect the £12 due.

Bob,76, who lives in Johnstone, Scotland, was told by Hill's Media Relations Director, Graham Sharpe that if the company could verify the betting slip they would pay out. In fact, Hills did better than that - paying Bob £130, to take account of the effects of inflation - and adding a £130 free bet to place on THIS year's running of the race on Saturday.

'After 45 years of working for William Hill I am well aware that winning betting slips occasionally are mislaid or forgotten, but we always pay up when a genuine slip comes to light. The previous record delay was seven years, when we paid a £30 bet to a lady whose husband had died some years before, and she had been unable to bring herself to clear out his things for that long. But 43 years has to  be a world record for delayed collection of a winning bet' said Hill's Sharpe.

Bob Holmes has chosen to back Definitly Red in Saturday’s National with his free bet, maintaining the name connection with Red Rum.

FURTHER INFORMATION…GRAHAM SHARPE, MEDIA RELATIONS DIRECTOR……..07803 233702.